ELIAS FINLEY JOHNSON was born at Van Wert, Ohio, June 24, 1861, son of Abel and Margaret (Gillespie) Johnson. His ancestry is of Welsh origin on his father's side, and through his mother he is descended from an English family. From the High School of Van Wert he entered the Ohio State University, but did not complete his course there.
He entered the Law School of the University of Michigan in 1888, and was graduated Bachelor of Laws in 1890 and Master of Laws in 1891. From 1891 to 1897 he served as instructor and assistant professor in the Department of Law, when he was advanced to the position of Professor of Law and Secretary of the Law Faculty. He resigned this position in April, 1901, to accept a United States judgeship in the Philippine Islands.
He was a member of the Michigan State Board of Education from 1898 to 1901. He was married September 6, 1883, to Clara Annis Smith, and they have two children, Eva and Cecil.
-- From "History of the University of Michigan" by Burke Aaron Hinsdale. Published by the University of Michigan in 1906.
Elias Finley Johnson was born in Van Wert, Ohio, June 24, 1861. He received B.S. degree from National Normal University of Lebanon, Ohio and law degrees from the University of Michigan-LL.B. in 1890 and LL.M. in 1891. He married Clara A. Smith, Sept. 6, 1883 with whom he had two children—Mrs. A. D. Gibbs and David Cecil. He served in the Ohio House of Representatives, 1883-87. Johnson joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School in 1890. He held positions of assistant and instructor in law, 1890-94; assistant professor, 1894-95; and professor of law, 1895-1901. He served as a judge, CFI of Pangasinan, 1901 and as associate judge on the Supreme Court of Philippine Islands, 1903-1933. He was also a member of Board of Regents University of the Philippines. He was the author of Johnson on Bills and Notes and several treatises on Philippine law. Johnson died July 31, 1933 in Palo Alto, California.
-- Bentley Historical Library Finding Aids Project for Elias Finley Johnson student notebook 1888-1889